What would you make of a captain of a football team who is regularly regulated to the bench? That seems to be the case of Arsenal’s captain-Thomas Vermaelen, as he spent majority of the the 2013/2014 season on the sidelines partly due to injury and difficulty in breaking into the starting line-up.
Vermalean who joined Arsenal prior to the 2009/2010 season from Ajax took the premier league by storm scoring 8 goals in 45 games, which endeared him to the fans earning him his much deserved moniker-‘the Terminator.
In his second season at the club while the league was about to hit top gear, he suffered an achilles injury while on international duty with Belgium which ruled him out for about 8 months, and upon his coming back in subsequent seasons, his form
never remained the same.
Following the departure of Robin Van Persie (the man with the little boy inside) before the 2012/2013 season, he was made captain of the team. All was going well for him. However, his misfortune started when he missed the deciding penalty kick against Bradford City in the capital one cup quarter final clash and a series of uninspiring performances ensued, which reached a climax in the home game against Liverpool which ended in a 2 all draw, although the whole team played a part in the dismal performance but goalkeeper Szczesny and captain Vermaelen were the scapegoats prompting Wenger to drop the pair for the crucial game against Bayern Munich in the champions league.
Ever since then Wenger has always preferred the Mertesacker- Koscienly partnership, leaving the club’s captain to feature only when one of them is injured or suspended or even in the dying minutes of the game to add extra men to the defence – a role which is quite degrading to a player of his status in the club.
It is understandable that the player is quite unhappy with the limited playing time given to him and reports have it that Manchester United are making moves to sign him up. However, i don’t think Wenger would sell him to a rival club but with Fabregas our one -time ‘poster boy’ now in Chelsea; anything can happen.
Lets have a rundown of some transfer targets which have been rumoured to replace our captain when if he leaves:
1. Tin Jedvaj
It is reported that Arsenal is interested in the 18 year old. The Croatian defender is quite experienced for his age and has the gift of dispossessing his opponent, but would any transfer season be complete without Tottenham being interested in Arsenal transfer targets, as it is reported that they are also making moves to bring the youngster to the White Hart Lane.
This seems to be an archetypal Wenger signing.
2. Kostas Manolas
The 23-year-old plays for Olympiacos and featured in the 2014 World Cup with Greece; starting all 4 games for his country, he’s a solid and reliable defender, definitely not one to shy away from the premier league’s attackers.
It may interest you to know that he once turned down the opportunity to play for Everton in 2012 obviously because of the lack of champions league.
3. Joel Veltman
Reports according to The Mirror are suggesting that Arsenal are making moves to sign Ajax Dutch international.
The defender who is currently participating in the 2014 World Cup with the Netherlands where he has made just one appearance so far, coming on as a substitute against Spain will be looking to add another cap to his World Cup tally after the Dutch side made it through to the semi-final of the competition setting up a tie against Argentina.
The 22-year-old Centre-back who is a regular starter for Ajax is superb in aerial duels and could also dribble if the need arises would fit perfectly into the Arsenal team as he loves passing the ball on the ground, which suits Arsenal’s style of play.
As always Tottenham are also in the run-in as reports have it that our fellow north London rivals are making moves to also land the player ahead of us this summer.
The three defender-option in Wenger’s card stated above all have the potentials of doing well at Arsenal, although it remains unknown as to what will happen and who will be replacing captain Vermaelen (that is if he is ever leaving) as the final decision remain in the hands of Wenger.